On Nov 27, medical students from across the province had the opportunity to learn more about family medicine practice from some of BC’s top family physicians, as part of BCCFP’s 12th Annual Medical Student Conference.

“My main take away is how diverse and flexible family practice can be,” says second-year medicine student, Simrin Dhillon, who attended the virtual conference from her home in the Fraser Valley. “It was exciting to listen to the different family physicians talk about their work because it really reinforced for me that I can design my practice based on my interests and the lifestyle that I want.”

Medical students who missed Saturday’s conference can watch recorded presentations available in BCCFP’s Learning Vault. (The Learning Vault is for Members only. Students who are not yet BCCFP members can join for free. Email office@bccfp.bc.ca for access.) 

[Watch conference videos on demand]

The day started with an enthusiastic overview of family medicine practice by Dr. Aryn Khan, a family physician in her first five years of practice, working in Vanderhoof BC.

“I love the variety of rural family medicine – working in clinic and the Emerg, delivering babies, scrubbing in for surgical assists, rounding on hospital patients, and even performing procedures, like endoscopy,” says Dr. Khan. “I work very hard taking care of the people I my community, but I set my own hours, I practice when and how I like, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Dr. Rebekah Eatmon, BCCFP’s Indigenous Physician Lead spoke next, discussing the experience of Indigenous Peoples in BC’s healthcare system and the importance of practicing culturally safe in order to achieve health equity.

During the breakout sessions, attendees got a glimpse of the breadth and depth of family medicine, with presentations from:

  • Amanda Whitten on women’s health and family medicine. Dr. Whitten works in a variety of settings as a locum, providing maternity care, abortion and contraception care, and support for people who use substances.
  • Joshua Greggain – broadcasting live from his RV where he is staying while locumming in a remote part of Vancouver Island – discussing his work as a rural family physician and the opportunity to provide meaningful, much-needed care to patients throughout rural BC.
  • Melanie van Soeren, who began family medicine practice on a remote island in Newfoundland and now works as an addictions doctor in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

The conference closed with a presentation by Dr. Cassia Tremblay, a first-year family medicine resident and winner of BCCFP’s 2021 Medical Student Scholarship, who helped to de-mystify the residency application process and provided tips for a competitive Family Medicine application.

A huge thank you to our all of our speakers and to BCCFP’s President, Dr. David May, who welcomed participants to the day.

Thank you to our student moderators for their essential role in helping to introduce speakers and handle audience questions: Salina Kung, Lisa Szostek, Simrin Dhillon, Valerie Doyon and Kathleen Lieuson. And, to everyone in the Family Medicine Interest Group for their support in organizing the event.


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